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The London Supplementary Design Show


Friday, November 1, 2013

 

< LONDON DESIGN >

 

< CAREFULLY SELECTED FOR YOU >

 

17 Rietveld Foundation Year students visited London in the first week of October 2013 where they composed their own London collection of design highlights.

Items were selected from the collections of many renown institutes like the British museum, Victoria & Albert, The Design museum, Off-site ICA or galleries (The White Chapel, Ravenrow etc…..). What is interesting for us? What do we like and why.

Previous to this trip we did visit the permanent design presentation in the Amsterdam Stedelijkmuseum. Compared to the items we selected and researched there [project: Design in the Stedelijk-3], this show presents a personal comparison between that and those of the London institutes.

If you click on them a caption will appear –just as a in a real museum– presenting information and a personal reflection on why that item was selected.
Researching contemporary design we present this “The London Supplementary Design Show” as a mirror of our own selection motives, an imaginary online exhibition space with items carefully selected for you.

click on images to visit the exhibit

 

Spira-Ribb Westwood_T-shirt

no_angle_no_poise_tiagodafonseca_2 ChloeMeineck_music-memory-box GatewayRouter_redu

8_snow_white_wrist_redubrave-new-world-lamp_1helmet_cropped

Samoerai-armor Sottsas_London_Item_LeftSottsas_London_Item_Right RavenRow_poster_tadanori-yokoo

MarjorieSchick material 3d printer

selected by Wiebe Bouwsema WillyBrown_redu TrojanColumn_VAA G_Force_Cyclonic_James_Dyson

 

Woman of the Shreds


Thursday, August 8, 2013

My thesis “Aufarbeitung” [reprocessing] is based on a historical research on the influence of economical and political crises on fashion and clothing production from a German perspective, says Verena Michels (fashion graduate 2013). My investigation aimed at finding answers on “how can I be a pro-active designer in the current crises and turn shortcomings into innovation? This theoretical research was the starting point for my garment collection.

© PETER STIGTER  FILENAME IS DESIGNERNAME RIETVELD 2013 GRADUATES © PETERS STIGTER RIETVELD ACADEMIE 2013 EINDEXAMEN © PETER STIGTER  FILENAME IS DESIGNERNAME RIETVELD 2013 GRADUATES

photo's Peter Stigter

 

trummerfrauen The icon of my collection is the so called “Truemmerfrau” (woman of the shreds): former housewives who were empowered and emancipated through physical labour in post-war Germany during the years of restoration. It was a period of hardship and material-, clothes-, and food shortcomings that encouraged black market and innovation through necessity.
When comparing that situation to our current crisis, I find a paradox: the European financial crisis is characterised not by a shortcoming but by an overload of materials, clothes and food, and what we lack are values, work ethics and a definition of what defines quality in times of mass production and over-consumption.
I decided to look for the answer by researching “material”. After experimenting with dust, lint and fabric leftovers, I chose wool as my main material. It is a highly relevant material for me because of its rawness, because it comes directly from nature (sheep, alpaca, goat), protects our body, keeps us warm, and doesn’t need to be washed. I decided to use wool in a non-conventional way, and put it in a context other than knitting.

COVER Rosemarie Trockel wool painting
Rosemarie Trockel wool on canvas, Dark Threat 2 2010, Syz Collection

Inspired by the wool paintings of German artist Rosemarie Trockel who transferred wool from the female household to established art galleries, I developed a new textile. This material is flat, structured, and requires only the exact amount of yarn without waste. It can be produced at home with a household sewing machine. The simplicity of the technique allows me to share it with friends and to collaborate. This can be a relevant starting point for making production communal and local again. I see it as a contemporary translation of the post-war DIY culture and hope my idea inspires others.

Screen shot 2013-08-08 at 12.13.23 PM

photo by Lutz Bauman

My collection book is an archive of visual research, notes and ideas, documentation of material and form research. It includes two chapters of my thesis and a photo series of the end results. The photo shoot took place at KOBOR, the wool store of Koos Koopman who buys yarns from bankrupt companies or factories that produced too much, and sells it at a fair price.

text by Verena Michels [graduate student department of Fashion] : more verenamichels.tumblr.com

 

Pdf-icon
Download her collection book ”Treummerfrau“, [woman of the shreds]

Pdf-icon Download the thesis: ”Aufarbeitung“, [recollection]
 

Fashion With a Gold Tread


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2013. We eat while we walk the dog and call our grandmother at the same time. There’s no time for sitting down. You see, time is money, and definitely not worth spending on a bench in a beautiful park doing nothing – or on repairing an unraveled sweater. It’s easier (and cheaper perhaps) just to buy a new one. But can time be measured in gold? We talk a lot about time over our worn out jackets.

 

 

Perhaps a short explanation is needed.

Seven years ago, Saskia van Drimmelen gathered a few people she knew and shipped off to Bulgaria. After eight years of designing clothes for the fashion elite in Paris, she had decided to quit her own (and at that point quite successful) brand, in search of a more fulfilling way of making clothes. In a book about Bulgarian crafts, she had found pictures of needlepoint lace unlike anything she had ever seen before – and so the treasure hunt begun. What started as a research on old fashioned and nearly forgotten techniques, became what today is known as Painted.

They call themselves a hybrid fashion collective. Many people stand behind the name Painted, but in the front seats you find Saskia together with theater director (and also Bulgaria explorer) Margreet Sweerts.
Their latest project is called Golden Joinery. Inspired by an old Japanese tradition where broken ceramics are repaired with golden paint, Saskia and Margreet invite you to repair your ragged clothes with a golden thread. They organize workshops where you can bring your beloved but broken sweater, jacket, dress or pair of jeans, and together you make it as good as – or perhaps even better than – new. And this is the frame of our conversation.

 

 

Painted is doing something different. In lack of a better name – perhaps combined with peoples need to categorize everything – Painted and their series of clothes are often referred to as slow fashion. Saskia and Margreet rather (if they really have to give it a name) call it slow clothes. Though many of the ideas behind their brand is compatible with the slow fashion thinking (like the sustainability and the anti buy and throw away mentality) Painted is still doing something different.

They work in the periphery of the fashion world, far away from catwalks, collections and trends (when they were asked to open the Amsterdam International Fashion Week, their answer was a YES with a big BUT – resulting in a room where models practised their tightrope skills, while the audience could walk around and watch).

Painted means spending time on making the clothes. Most of their garments are developed over years, and a normal procedure could be this: One starts making, lets say, a dress. Then leaves it to rest for a while, until somebody else finds the inspiration to continue. The garment grows in the hands of different people, until it’s finished. Nothing is planned or designed to the end, it becomes while it’s being made. All the contributors have something to say, and every piece is different from another.

 

 

I asked Saskia and Margreet what they thought making something by hand added to a clothing, and they answered with returning the question; What do I think making something by hand adds to a clothing? I was not capable of giving a straight answer at the time being –  and I’m not sure I am today either. But I know it adds something. Something of value, whatever that means. I know for instance that buying sweaters on a fleamarket and only afterwards realizing that it has been made by somebody’s hands, makes the scoop three times as good. This is of course a quite subjective way of thinking. Perhaps my idea of an old, gray haired and slightly chubby woman, sitting in a rocking chair knitting (I know this is the case only one out of twenty times) makes the sweater even warmer. Or maybe it’s the idea of somebody spending their time doing it that warms?

By the end of our talk, Margreet draws a scenario; If your house was burning, and you could only save what you could carry in your arms – what would it be (and now let’s look beyond computers and smartphones)? After the workshop, thinking about what I would have saved, I realize that this might be what Saskia and Margreet are trying to create in their clothes. A value that goes beyond money. Not just another really beautiful dress – but a garment with something close to affection.

I like to think that time invested in an out dying technique (let’s say a Bulgarian needlepoint lace) or in repairing an unraveled sweater makes it more worth than the machine produced alternative. I mean, time is after all money. Maybe we just haven’t learned to recognise the currency yet.

www.paintedseries.com

 

 

Epilog
After attending their workshop, and becoming a part of their secret, golden brand, Margreet and Saskia asked me to add a song to their playlist, a song about something broken or golden. Not that it really has anything to do with anything, but it’s about a broken heart and I felt like it belonged here as well.

Christopher Owens – A Broken Heart

 

I don’t have the skill to create a 3D dress like van Herpen’s Pythagoras tree, but since I have 123Dapp I might have the skill to duplicate it”


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Iris van Herpen’s dress the ‘Pythagoras tree’ was one of the first things I saw when I entered the Handmade exhibition at the Boijmans. The question: why is this in a handmade exhibition? Came to mind first. Right after my fascination for 3D printing was back again. Followed by a long stare at the dress, how did she do this? Of course some jealousy comes along too, with a dress like this, wishing I would have the skill yet to create it.

Van Herpen’s work, often described as “wearable sculpture”, fuses fashion with art.’’ My goodness how many times did I read this sentence when searching the web for more information about Iris van Herpen. Fuses fashion with art? So fashion isn’t art and sculpture is? The reason for me to place it within Design and not Art its because it is functional. Of course there are many opinions about, if van Herpen’s work is made to function as a Garment or not. But you can not deny that if you wanted to you can wear everything she creates. The “Pythagoras Tree” dress was made in collaboration with architect Julia Koerner. She studied architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria. A lot of her designs are produced from organic structures and compounds. She has worked on a 3Dprinted dress with van Herpen before. For this dress a Technique was used, known as ‘Mammoth Stereo lithography’. It is a 3D printing process in which the garment is built slice by slice from bottom to top, in a vessel of polymer that hardens when struck by a laser beam.
The collection Hybrid Holism by van Herpen is inspired by a work of the architect Philip Beesley , named Hylozoic Soil (2007). His work is about architecture not just being a space for people to exist in, but the architecture itself becoming a living being. When seeing Beesley’s work in general I can make a clear connection between the two. It feels like van Herpen want’s to recreate the aesthetics  of the architecture into something wearable.

Philip Beesley- Hylozoic grounds

 

Iris van Herpen- Hybrid Holism

When we think of something being handmade, we mostly think of the past and the interaction between human and raw material. Nowadays the amount of handwork that is being made is becoming less and less .Also many different technique’s are being realized. Therefor you start questioning which technique’s are considered within the category Handmade. Van Herpen’s dresses are hard to define. They are definitely design because it is not only functional but they are clearly based on a concept as well. But she is not designing only, when trying to get the dress to function properly she is engaging herself in engineering. And many of the programs she work’s with to realize her garments are programs used more often by engineers then they are used by designers.

My fascination for 3D printing started a few years ago when I first heard about it. I knew it definitely was going to change everything from the moment it would be accessible for everyone. It would change our consumer society, and our view on authenticity. It may not have this impact quite yet, but it is coming soon. The way the development has quickly progressed is mind blowing. Lately a 3Dprinted gun has been making head lines in the USA and the The Netherlands too. A man from the USA managed to create a working gun and posted a YouTube video of it online. After this had been on the news everywhere, the HVA ( a university of Amsterdam) tried to reprint it, the did not manage to print it, because they were stopped. But it had made headlines in the Netherlands.

 

Gun use, printed

 

It always takes something shocking for people to realize how a certain technology has developed right under their noses. Another recent headline, was body parts being printed. A small boy Kaiba Gionfriddo, had a life threatening condition cured by having an artificial windpipe and an airway splint printed and inserted in his body. It is the first medical achievement concerning 3D printing. If they are able to print body parts already, I can’t imagine what they will be able to print in a few years. I might not ever have to give birth to child, I could just print one on my 3D printer.

 

Van Herpen makes use of both 3dprinting and handwork in one garment. This blurrs the line between hand or machine made. Why is it we value handmade things so much? Is it because of the society we live in, in which everything is mass produced? I think mass producing and machines are two words that obviously go together. Many handmade items are mass produced as well and are valued equally to the machine made products. So it’s all about authenticity. We human’s tend to like it when we own something no one else has. It makes us feel more important. This feeling is linked to the handmade products we value so highly from before the mass producing era. Van Herpen’s dress might not be handmade, but it is the only existing one so we value it the same as we value the handmade products at the exhibition. This made me think: I can change the value we give van Herpen’s dress, all i have to do is create a second one. Since the dress is 3D printed it should be possible to have an exact replica made. After a long but pointless search on the internet for the blueprint of the ‘Pythagoras tree’ dress, I came along an app called autodesk123D . The app is created to make 3D printing of existing objects easier, all you have to do is take 20-40 pictures of an object from different angles and it will create the 3D blueprint for you. Since I found out about this app too late it wasn’t possible for me to visit the Boymans again to take the pictures, and try out if it is possible to create an exact replica online. I guess i don’t have the skill to create a 3Ddress like van Herpen’s Pythagoras tree, but since I have 123Dapp I might have the skill to duplicate it.

If you are interested in 3D printing, and living in Amsterdam visit:

www.ground3d.nl/

Not all boys dream of being kings, not all girls dream of being queens


Sunday, May 26, 2013

 
The intimacy of Grayson Perry´s drawings and the DIY characteristic
of punk and queer movements

 

The first time I came across Grayson Perry´s work happened on the same week I had a discussion with my classmates regarding minorities and the quantity of women inside the art academies X how many of them do we actually see in contemporary art galleries and museums.
Not only for briefly getting to know his beautiful works, but I was mostly glad to hear he was a successful and Turner Prize winner artist who also happened to be a transvestite. He made it out there despite for his choice of appearance or behavior and above all: his body of work does speak about all of these matters in a very subjective and personal way.
I hadn´t thought or researched much more about Perry until I visited the Hand Made exhibition at the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam with the Foundation Year. For my surprise the centrepiece of the exhibition was The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, by Grayson Perry.

The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman is a tomb in the shape of a ship, which has been cast in iron, a floating reliquary that is forever earthbound. This, he says, is the tomb of the unknown craftsman, dedicated to the many thousands of artists over the centuries whose work survives but whose names will never be known. The political and whimsical aspects of the work promptly awakened my curiosity and interest in his art, so I decided to start researching about him.

Perry is mainly known for his ceramic pottery and tapestry, where he combines classical forms with his drawings and sketches. The drawings have a strongly autobiographical aspect, often depicting himself as Claire, his feminine alter-ego, and his teddy bear, Alan Measles, as a representation of the father figure, always providing comfort and affection. Many of his works picture sexually explicit content and for that reason they have been raising harsh criticism among art critics. But Perry habitually portrays the life of the working class as well as inciting discussions about minorities, sexuality, class and race. He has said, “I like the whole iconography of pottery. It hasn’t got any big pretensions to being great public works of art, and no matter how brash a statement I make, on a pot it will always have certain humility… For me the shape has to be classical invisible: then you’ve got a base that people can understand”.

Looking closely to the drawings on the pottery and trying to understand what they wish to communicate I could not help but think that their guerrilla-like motto and storytelling elements reminded me of the punk zines and the DIY (do it yourself) aesthetic of the punk and queer movements. In my mind, the way Perry uses the form of traditional vases as a free base and platform for the materialization of his thoughts immediately related to the intimacy and freedom of speech of the hand made booklets.
The hand made zines played a very important role in the punk movement in the late 1970s. Through the making of a zine one could express his own or a group´s principles and spread the word while being able to escape from the control of the publishing companies and media. In my opinion the exceptionally underground aspect of it is what provided the freedom necessary for the makers to loosen up from any possible apprehension regarding public judgment in order to feel welcome to express their most genuine political thoughts. I can recognize this very same bravery and freedom of speech in Perry´s drawings.

For Perry art should be able to communicate to the public and not only to the high-class art related intellectual minority. He also reflects on crafts as a form of art and in an interview to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, he mentions that craft and art are greatly linked and that is actually one great thing about it. Craft by definition is something that can be taught to someone else, you can teach someone how to throw a pot and they can become as good at it as you. Whereas art is very much linked to an individual vision and it´s not necessarily something that can be taught. One can be derivative and take up someone elses vision but he won´t ever become that person.
Perry calls himself an artist and craftsman and he makes use of crafts as a solid and clear base for his art, a base that becomes a tool for the expression and carriage of his message.
Not surprised I discovered Perry was involved in the Chelmsford punk scene in the late 1970s, he lived in squatted houses and at some point shared a house with the pop singer and transvestite Boy George, who became an inspiration for him. He is also the father of Flo, a 21 years old girl, and the husband of the author and psychotherapist Philippa Perry.

Golden Joinery – a fashion label with focus on the genuine, personal meeting


Friday, May 24, 2013

 

Quick fashion, one trend after another. Passion for fashion becomes synonymous with renewing yourself and being up to date.

In today’s reality where we consume more than we need, where we meet and communicate through one screen or another and where machines can basically do everything, there are some necessities for experiencing the genuine and personal that cannot be simulated by any kind of machines.

Saskia van Drimmelen has been a fashion designer for two decades, graduating from the fashion Department of Arnhem Academy of Arts. For eight years she had her own brand and followed the fashion markets system with presenting two collections per year. Her collections were selling at leading boutiques such as Colette (Paris), Brown (London) and Van Ravenstein (Amsterdam). Her work was shown and bought by museums all over the world and Adidas asked her to design a sneaker. But along the way her interest and approach changed direction. Together with Margreet Sweerts, theater director, she begun to investigate ways to create more personal, unique, “slow” clothes and in 2007 they started Painted Series – a story in garment. A label with an embrace of handmade as opposed to mass production. They travelled to places where almost forgotten knowledge of craftwork still was practiced. To Bulgaria where women knew the tradition of making needlepoint and from the Assiniboine tribe in Northern America they learned about beadery. Collaborations started with different people involved to make the slowly ever-growing collection, like a bands repertoire. The collection is not bound to a season or trends.

The starting point for Saskia and Margreet were beautiful antique family garments from Bulgaria that had been inherited through generations and added to in each led. The pieces carried a story and a soul that inspired the duo to create garments with the same idea of letting designers and artisans traditional techniques contribute. As a result the collaboration creates a personal, unique, delicate piece of clothes that carries a story, tradition and a close relationship to its creators.

With the quote from Leonard Cohen “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in” the Painted present their latest project Golden Joinery. Often when we repair broken things we do it with intention to hide it and make it as if new. An alternative “broken is better than new” aesthetic – that it actually can add value and the symbolic aspects – fascinates the fashion collective. With the passion for imperfect love they invite me for a workshop where clothes that are broken or stained can be repaired with a golden scar. The inspiration came from the Japanese tradition of repairing broken ceramics with golden paint, a technique called Kintsugi. The invitation is to bring a piece of clothes that you hold dearly and that is defect, to a workshop and repair it with the same idea as Kintsugi, with golden thread or patches of golden textile. The clothes breath new life by sharing the joy of making with the traditional techniques and an important aspect is the experience and the interaction. The participants are contributing to a new brand that slowly will arise.

 

 

In Painted’s studio in the west of Amsterdam, four women came together with the originators of Golden Joinery and their brought broken beloved clothes wear. For a couple of hours we took a break from our duties and sat down to repair and to meet. I brought for myself a “new” but long looked for, perfectly worn out second hand leather jacket. The seams on the inside were completely trashed, the lining material was sticking out every time I put it on. I healed it with golden thread and the jacket slowly held together again. The golden thread gives me the feeling that it will hold forever. Knowing that, I will walk around with the golden thread on the inside, towards my body giving the feeling of a secret. If the jacket opens you might glimpse some shimmer and if you ever heard about Golden Joinery you will know the deal.

 

 

The people that come to the workshop are now a part of a new slowly arising brand. The logo, a small golden ellipse, that Saskia stitched on the left inside of my jacket is shining like a beetle and makes me a part of the ever-growing Golden Joinery. The event and the knowledge that more people have been joining the same thing –and you might spot the signs on the street–, makes it a bit special. My relationship to this jacket is now closer, like a friend that I supported. I haven’t known the friend for a long time but some you get close to quicker and some events can enhance this intimacy. This definitely did.

 

Apart from Amsterdam, Painted will give the workshop Golden Joinery to enrich garments in Maastricht, New York, Wrightwood, Ahmedabad, Eindhoven, Paris and Mallorca.

GRA DRESS-INDEX SHOW


Thursday, March 7, 2013

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Group D of the Basic Year worked on the GRA DRESS-INDEX* project during the months of February and March 2013. Each student took ‘dress’ at the GRA as a starting point for new clothing designs. Each individual research resulted in one new outfit. These outfits were presented in the form of a fashion show at the staircase of the old GRA building (between 2nd and 3rd floor) on March 21st. It was an energetic – exciting – show, here a video synopsis of the show:

>> As one student said: People dress quite boring at the Rietveld, this is way more fun…. Why don’t we dress up like the GRA DRESS-INDEX outfits every day?

*GRA = Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam
DRESS = Clothing in a broad sense; the way people wear, move around and behave in clothing
INDEX = List arranged usually in alphabetical order of
some specified data (as subject, or keyword)
<

DRESS-INDEX #4


Monday, February 11, 2013

 

 

The bag is everywhere on the human body. It is being up, middle and down and even disappears.

In my impression, the bag acts a minor role on the human body wherever it is. Starting to cut a bag into pieces based on observation sketches above and then making collages.

Making collages which have a feeling of extracted elements of the bags in the academy, which are ‘devotion’ and ‘indifference’.

 

The final outfit:

The black surfaces, which are originally part of the bottom of the bag,
are shaped in some volumes in order to depict an emphasis of its usability.

The twisted form of the shirt and the parts of a T-shirt represents a gap between ‘devotion’ and ‘indifference’ (which is a concept of this outfit). Gray fabric attached to the leg expresses a sense of coldness. It traces my impression of the locations where the bag is in the academy.

 

 

Supplementary Design Show 2012 /Stedelijk Design Highlights


Monday, November 12, 2012

17 Rietveld's Foundation Year students visited the "Stedelijk Collection Higlights /Design" in the newly opened Stedelijk Museum. Marveling at some masterpieces of Interbellum design or surprised –a little further– by the Scandinavian design some of us know so well from our grandparents homes, we arrived at the last part of this "Depot Salon" wondering what a 2012 selection of Design could be.
Researching contemporary design we composed the "2012 Supplementary" which we present in this post. From the exhibit "Stedelijk Collection Higlights /Design" we all selected a personal best and made it the focus of the researches published as part of the project "Design-in-the-Stedelijk"

 



 


THE WAY OF A HANDWRITING


Sunday, October 28, 2012

cover of the book Well Well Well containing his differents works, 2010

 

Letman. Behind this nickname hides a former student of the Rietveld Academy, Job Wouters.  He represents well a very illustrative part of graphic design and type design. This young artist is currently becoming quite famous, with some impressive institutions as clients like Monoprix, Heineken, Tommy Hilfiger, the New York Times Magazine, Playboy, or more recently a collaboration with dutch artist Dries Van Noten for a fashion show. In addition he has just published a book in collaboration with Gijs Frieling, and received the Dutch Design Award for his series of posters called Undercover.

 

Wouters first started to practice his drawing passion with friends and his brother, sharing their discoveries together. He still often collaborates with his brother Roel, or his childhood friend Yvo Sprey. He was quite intrigued by graffiti, practicing a lot and was particularly interested in street art lettering. This was his first step into the world of typography. In an interview, he said: when I was a youngster I was especially interested in graffiti-writers, who could write their names flawlessly in different styles. The communicative potential of type style was already of great interest to him. It is ironic to start looking at different styles that could communicate your personality through graffiti and finally do the same for corporate firms or advertisements. Later Job entered the KABK school of the Hague in the typography department and then carried his studies further at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where he graduated in 2004. His great passion for graffiti and handwriting was already very present during his studies. His graduation work was for example made out of 500 posters displaying each name of his classmates, they were handwritten thanks to a huge panel of graffiti styles. Job is definitely interested in underground handmade style of graphic design always keeping aesthetic problems, finalization and communication effects in mind. It is impressive to see a designer like Job who found his way so early, and then sticking to this fundamental base, staying true and evolving all the way.

 

(more…)

PUSHING THE LIMITS


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

 

We didn’t ask the school, we sent Linda (Linda Van Deursen, head of graphic design department, red.) a mail to say what we needed, but yeah after that I don’t think we had any contact with the school again.” Niels smiles.

I’m sitting in the studio of two of the leading fashion photographers in the world, that of Auschka Blommers and Niels Schumm, sipping a coffee that Anuschka made for me.

“Well, it was our idea to use Rietveld students”, Niels explains when I ask them who decided to make the reportage, “It was the Art Director who wanted a street casting and COS was very sceptical to it at first. But it’s always a bit tricky to go out on the streets to find models; they are always staying only for a few days in the country or can’t make it for some other reason. So it was easier for us to pick students from Rietveld. Besides it felt more like a real group, closer to us somehow. We all knew about each other, so that makes it easier to work together.”

What we are talking about is the latest collaboration Anuschka and Niels had with COS, a smaller brand originally an offspring from H&M, with their new lookbook for 2012.

So they started with a casting, asking and selecting fifteen people from the school, of which ten pictures were chosen to be viewed by COS, who then picked out seven of them to be in the magazine.

“But yeah, they see something else than we do” Anuschka explains, “where we see portraits, they see too much blonds. Or too pail skin. Or not enough guys, and so forth.”

 

I find it interesting that Anuschka and Niels, being former students and employees at the Rietveld, are doing a lookbook for a commercial fashion brand where they make use of Rietveld students without consulting the academy. In this way, Rietveld is portrayed almost as a product, rather than an art school.

 

But let’s go back a bit. It all started 1996, the year Anuschka Blommers had her end exam show at the Rietveld Academy (Niels graduated a year before). There she met Job van Bennekom, he saw her work and was immediately impressed and wanted her and Niels to come and make a photo series for a new magazine he was working on.

“YOUR work? He saw your work? Here we go again!” Says Niels laughing.

“Ok, our work then”, Anuschka replies smiling. She heard that joke before.

“We’re like a married couple, fighting over little things”, he explains, “not knowing who did what or said what anymore.”

Anuschka and Niels were working more and more together until one day they couldn’t tell who made which pictures anymore.

“It’s ridiculous really, we got to that point were I would help Anuschka set up the light in the studio, and she would hold the camera and take a shot. So which name should it be under the picture? Foto: Anuschka Blommers, Light: Niels Schumm? That didn’t work.”

“So we started to work together as a duo and eventually you forget who did what. You start to believe that you did a lot more than you actually did!” Anuschka fills in.

They are very used to each other, one picks up were the other one is finishing a sentence and they easily slipp into jokes and laughter.

“So anyway, it was Jop who one year later introduced us to Viktor & Rolf for an exhibition some 15 years ago”, Anuschka says.

And that’s where it all started for Anuschka and Niels, they took their first step into the fashion industry and haven’t stepped out of there since then.

“I mean, we were basically doing what we did at the Rietveld, taking pictures of our family and friends, but the only difference now is that they wear big brands like Comme Des Garcons.”

“Then why did you want to do fashion photography?”

“Well we didn’t!” they both respond.

 

 

“We didn’t know anything about fashion or clothes or brands. We really had no clue! We just kept doing our thing, but we did it with the models wearing their fashion couture instead.” Niels says.

“We have some influence while taking the picture and printing it in a magazine, but what I find fascinating is that media then picks it up and it can go anywhere, it gets its own life. We don’t know what’s going to happen”, Anuschka explains.

“For instance last year at Queen’s Day, I actually met a woman who sold me one of my first pictures back to me, without knowing! She kept it for 15 years! That is amazing”, Niels says.

But Anuschka and Niels don’t just do portraits and fashion, they have also done work with still life photography, something that Niels was doing a lot in his Rietveld days, whereas Anuschka mostly did portraits back then. When asked what they prefer to do now they tell me that it’s the opposite: when they work separately on private projects Anuschka is the one trying out still life, whereas Niels is doing more portraits.

 

 

In their collaborate work they are trying to step away from Photoshop by taking surreal photos of objects floating, or tricking the eye, by only using lights and angles. For instants The Cube was one of the first photos that Niels wanted to make. He got a camera at the age of ten, and it fascinated him then how the perspective changes when you look through the viewfinder, so when you take the picture it never is quite the same as you saw it in reality. This notion he carried with him, he wanted to challenge this illusion by taking a picture with a professional camera, arranging this impossible cube.

 

 

“There was actually a young couple at our last exhibition at Foam, where the girl asked the boy; How do they do that?, and the boy answers; Photoshop, of course! We both were like Noooooo!”  Anuschka laughs.

It is fascinating to see how they try to make a real thing look like something that’s not real, like this impossible cube that looks like a cube from one angle and from another angle it’s just pieces of wood. So it’s very much about that, about this non-Photoshop. With little gestures they want to turn around the meaning of the image.

 

 

“You should always go back to yourself, and stay true to what you do”, Anuschka says in the end of the interview, smiling vaguely as if she’s possessing a secret that she knows already, and that we all have to discover for ourselves.

 

Radio Rietveld! DJ Zachary Airhorn interviews : Franciscus Van Der Meer


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Radio Rietveld resident DJ Zachary Airhorn had a little chat with fashion designer Franciscus Van Der Meer about mislabeling, telling stories with garments, fashion jargon and living in London.

fashion -garments- are the most intimate and superficial layer that separates our minds and bodies from all around us. they cover our inner space. so what happens around us? what goes on in the outer space? wars, attacks on politicians, poverty, enough clean drinking water, hiv, riots in suburbia etc. the one word that connects all this is intolerance: angst & anxiety for the unknown and thus the threatening. so how do we deal with each other?
what do we show and what do we conceal? to what extend do you choose for yourself instead of those around you? what’s the relation between our own individuality and selflessness? what the confrontation like, when our inner space meets the outer space?

Franciscus van der Meer

The interview starts with Franciscus calling via Skype during a wonderful song by the Beach Boys, Heroes and Villains. We begin talking about his show at FOAM in Amsterdam, which took place in early 2012. Quickly the interview moves on to the issue of talkin fashion without visual aid, and thus the relation between his collections and this above text on his website from his collection …and I’ll show you mine :

 

We then speak about his work in London, his time with a label, and his work on his captual collection (a series of five outfits). Franciscus speaks in detail of his process, mentioning how the first outfits are generally more “confined”, while the later ones are calmer. He goes from “a place of aggravation to a place of peace.” The discussion then goes into the importance of atmosphere during a presentation, his annoyance with clichés relating to fashion, and his collaboration with friends documenting his work.

 

JOFF’s fashion designed ART


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

 

JOFF is the alter ego / the ‘brand’ of Joffrey Moolhuizen, created for his graduation collection in 2001 when he graduated from the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. In 2002 JOFF also graduated from the fashion institute in Arhnem. But instead of working in the conventional fashion designer way, making new collections every season, he wanted to establish his work through the art circuit. The designer who grew up in an extremely religious Jehovah’s Witness family, left for art school, where he “found himself” being forced to break with his family. His work originally began as a direct response to the restrictive culture he was raised in, with pieces hiding as much skin as possible (dramatically high collars and uncomfortable cuts are part of the appeal). His work can be seen as androgynous. The designer works on the fine line between femininity and masculinity. As he grew up as a designer, he became more self centered and focused his clothing designs on himself maybe even to the extreme. JOFF’s famous collection ofoffjoff is on the edge of narcissism. Every design is made precisely to his own measurements. So also the models should be approximately his size and build. In theory the work is meant for everybody (though you should be his size) and all the designs are totally unisex, but only avaible in one size, JOFFSIZE.
JOFF is a fashion designer who is multidisciplinary and tries to work in more than one approach to fashion by putting it in the art scene as performance, making books. He tries to combine more mediums to approach fashion, which I think is because of his Rietveld experience. About the Ofoffjoff collection JOFF made a book together with Julia Born (also studied at the Rietveld academie) who is a graphic designer. The book is called Ofoffjoff- one to one. Quoting mrs. Mo Veld who is a fashioncritic and fashion theory teacher at the Rietveld academie  “The  book is more than just the work of JOFF on paper, the classic medium to let fashion transcend beyond the original object of desire, like for instance a lookbook as it is called in fashion. OFOFFJOFF- one to one is a fashion object in itself giving the audience an alternative to discover in detail as well as relate to JOFF”S design, his style, his image, his size, one to one. JOFF and you. Much like early pop magazines featured life size “starschnitt” images of teenage icon. In this publication the designer again becomes the measure of all.”
The book earned two best designed books listings in 2007, by the best designed books foundation presented at the Stedelijk museum Amsterdam, as well as by the most beautiful Swiss books 2007

JOFF is also the artistic director/ curator of the Arhnem fashion biennale. Last year he tried to discuss the relationship between fashion and contemporary art in this city based exhibition. He didn’t want to make it in to a commercial fashion show because there are already to many of those. He sees fashion as the art that’s closest to the body, but tries to get more out of the biennale than only showing nice looking skirts, pants etc. he wants you to get the feeling of what fashion is in his eyes. His concept was a search to the identity and the phenomenon of fashion and also a declaration of love to fashion. He opened the biennale with a love letter to Amber which was also the title of the biennale (AMB first three characters of Amber stand for Arhnem Mode Biennale) which said:  “I’m addicted to your deception and temptation and will never be able to live without this on and off relation.”
The goal of JOFF is to show fashion in all it’s manifestations, it goes beyond clothing. He also wants to show that your hairstyle and the car you choose is part of fashion, fashion is everywhere in daily life. Also photographs, objects, texts and what not will be shown with the goal to show the social-cultural function of clothing. But also outside of the exhibition space there was a lot to see not just the beautiful fashion stores but also the best bakery and the best views in town. This is how he wants to show that fashion is everywhere around us.

I think he has a really rich Rietveld background that is visible in his work and the way he directs the AMB. Already by not trying to fit in in the fashion world but trying to put his work in the art circuit feels really Rietveld to me. Also that he tries to combine elements out of other working fields, not just making dresses but his fashion serves a different higher goal. He uses his designs to do performances, installations and publications and by doing this he goes a step further than most fashion designers
Also his work is maybe more conceptual than most fashion designers with his Ofoffjoff project and also using his religious  conservative background and not only to make beautiful looking clothes but clothes with a story

This conclusion is based on available facts. I tried to e-mail Mr JOFF but never got an answer.

 

http://www.moveld.com/?page_id=132

the modern man in nature


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

By wearing masks, I attempted to free myself from my ego and access a collective unconsciousness. It is a reaction to the Western urban human being, wallowing in a nostalgic concept of nature, convinced of being able to reach a certain pure natural state within the safe context of taking a course in “primal dancing” or “collaborating with dead ancestors.  quote by Emmeline de Mooij [x]

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Six Feet Under


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

 

&Foam
Foam lies in the city center of Amsterdam, in the museum on the Keizersgracht. That is where they program a wide range of expositions. From world famous photographers to young and -as of yet- unknown talent. Grand long-term expositions are followed by rapid successions of  smaller expositions.
&Foam are special editions seeking new collaborations with exceptional artist, with intersecting  the fields of photography and other forms of art.
The current &Foam exposition at display in the Vijzelstraat in Amsterdam is about Philippe Vogelenzang

‘Six feet Under’
While visiting the ‘Fashion &Foam’ exposition one particular black and white photograph immediately caught the eye. A photograph depicting the bottom halves of seven soles. Shoe soles branded with the names of famous brands like Moshino, Prada, Hugo Boss, Lanvin, Emporio Armani en Vero Cuoio; designer shoes one and all.
After my tour of the rest of the exposition this piece again caught my eye, this time from a distance. The picture -while still recognizable as the same work- looks completely different from afar compared to what you see close up. These were not shoes, but gravestones!
The artist is playing tricks on his audience. He fools you into seeing the wrong thing, at least that is what it seems at first. The picture leaves a completely different impression from a distance and at second glance. It also made me curious as to the message of the piece. Then again the title is descriptive enough ; ‘Six feet Under’

 

‘Six Feet Under’

 

The young photographer (1982) lives in Amsterdam. He mostly works in fashion photography doing shoots for national and international fashion magazines. Digging deeper it soon became clear that he is a very active artist. The internet seems to be full of pictures by Philippe Vogelenzang. Many of the websites containing his pictures are about fashion photography. But not just any fashion photography. There always seems to be a story behind the pictures. A little something extra.

 

Interview with Philippe Vogelenzang

Does the academy still influence your work?
“No, the academy does not influence my work.
Before going to the academy I studied ‘Design en Styling’ after which I studied Art History for two years at the UVA (university of amsterdam) .”
After studying photography for a year at the ‘Koninklijke Academy for Fine Art’ in the Hague I decided to quit my studies and start to develop my own photographic aesthetics and intensity. The first year at the academy in the Hague did of course provide me with a solid base.”

How did you like the transition van studying at the academy to working in the field?
”I liked it a lot, I made many friends. And also made contact with a lot of photographers, they taught me a lot.”

Where do you get your inspiration?
“Inspiration comes from myself, the surroundings; everywhere basically.
I always work out my feelings and I make what I like and feel I want to make.
How it all eventually develops, as it is growing. Focused work is completely different of course.”

Do you like working with a theme?
“Yes, I like working with themes. I am especially drawn to start working on projects that tell a story and address important social issues.”

What is the relationship between your work at Fashion &Foam and you other work?
“In my photography i mainly focus on portraiture, fashion photography and art. Starting often with nostalgic of classical pieces. Aesthetics also play a big part in my works, that is where the fashion comes in. Fashion &Foam is a reflection of whom I am and what I strive for’’

In Fashion And Foam your work seems like conceptual photography, what do you think of this?
“My work is now with foam editions and is picked up that way and it seems that way more and more recognition for my work to occur, it is now as well as in foam in a more artistic angle. This is not something you can control it, but it is an honor if you work in this way is put down. “

What camera do you use?
” I was just sponsored a new camera, a Leica S System. Before that one I used a Canon 1Ds mark II”
One more interesting project in cooperation with Majid Karrouch is Project MODE MADE MAN – (for Amsterdam Museum

Vogelenzang in Foam see: http://www.foam.org/press/2012/en_foam

 

Discover Design


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

 

 

Fluid Fabrics


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

 

Probably the most fascinating part of the work of fashion designers Niels Klavers and Astrid van Engelen, is the special role given to the deliberate choice of material as the main ingredient of the design, which influences and shapes the garment (as they describe in the short video/interview Dutch Profile: Klavers Van Engelen). And what particularly fascinates me is the material referred to as the decisive factor of the final product and I will try to describe how the fabric becomes such a strong and inspirational object. The Designers` concept is based on this approach and it is evident that they want the fabric to get its own independent life when it is worn by the model. It moves and creates its peculiar visual  spectacle. That is why the designers Klavers and Engelen said that one cannot capture the whole of the design in a still picture as there is way more to see beyond the precise recorded instance of a shot. And there I can insist on the importance of those few minutes (ephemeral but also intensively documented) of the fashion show as the playground where the garments can perform. However, the shots are essential as they represent the source that the wide public can see. The selected audience that get the chance to attend the show, is thrilled by the wild appearance of the fabric while it is exposed in its most adventurous moment.

Coming from an art school, which apparently creates a different starting point compared to the background of other foreign fashion designers that studied at a regular fashion schools. These designers start working conceptually until the ideas develop naturally into an autonomous form. I recognize in this the “fingerprint” of the Gerrit Rietveld academy style that shapes the way of working and thinking, in the same way we, basic year students are educating our own visual language during these years of studying at the academy. What really surprised me is the manner in which the designers managed to implement all the practices that I see everyday in school, in such a rich and fulfilling way. Although their first garments were more constructivist and conceptual, they later developed into more wearable collections that keep the same tactility of the pure form and material.

 

Klavers Van Engelen

 

Seeing the work as if it is an enchanted talisman that is liberated as soon as it gets out of the stiff folding on the closet shelve, it also becomes a way of dealing with and approaching the material. I could add almost with respect not afraid to explore all its opportunities to the maximum. The moment that the fabric is released from the packaging, it suddenly becomes that creature that reflects light and communicates with the person that animates it. They treat the material as a living source that inspire their creations and give shape to the final products. Even though the designers try to keep the shape as simple as possible (sometimes just a rectangular piece of fabric with a cut), it still is very open for so many options and highly rich in its visuals, while the person can choose her/his own way of wearing it. That is why I may add that the delicate choice of the fabric as the raw material for the product, is indeed very beautiful in itself and carefully highlight every time when the garment is put into motion. The material speaks by itself determination the strictly sensory way of perceiving it at first glance when the audience is fascinated by that ”what it can do”.

“And it doesn’t move gently either, it becomes wild. The reaction we often hear is: have you seen how that moves! Wow, it`s amazing!” The choice of material is very important. The swishing and swirling of an animated garment is so very different then if it were captured in the photo”

The idea of the piece of clothing moving wildly and captivating the viewer is fascinating. I keep imagining a bond created between the designer and the fabric but also between the person wearing it and the clothing item.

What is this relationship based on? Is it exclusively sensory or more than that? From my own experience, when I visited The Fashion Foam and saw the first Klavers van Engelen design , I was captivated by that intense dark blue and the way the garment that they presented, more like a sculpture than a piece of clothing. It raised questions of what it may be and how it would look on a model or if I would have it in my hands. At first there is this very instinctive urge to touch it to see how it feels and then wondering and imagining how it would look like in another environment. Furthermore, what does it mean that it is presented in this way? I like the challenging way of exhibiting a fashion design that it almost detach from the wearable part but anyway, brings it back to its original meaning because of the context and space it is displayed in.

In conclusion, I would like to come back to my main reflective point which is the material choice in relation with Klavers van Engelen designs. The fabric is our starting point and the most recent collections have evolved from the horizontal.”  Their approach is quite simple and doesn’t involve pattern making or a lot of sketching but rather a hands-on way of working. What is important is the exploration of the material by researching all its opportunities and on top of all, the relation with the human body. Wrapping the fabric around the body and see what shape it gets is the easiest way of getting to know what they are looking for. The fabric has its own language that is translated visually as soon as it is wrapped around the model.

“You can tie a square around your hips and you have a skirt, that`s the simplest approach, but what other options are there for creating a form.”

Soepboer & Stooker


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Soepboer & Stooker- A fashion brand, a collaboration between designer Berber Soepboer and Anne Stooker. It’s not only about fashion but also involves different media like installation, photography but mainly based on textile and clothing.

I went to the store for a little interview with Anne Stooker, she told me it was her dream to have her own concept store. She was born in 1984, she first did a foundation course in Fashion academy ARTENIS in Rotterdam, then she came to the Rietveld to continue her Bachelor programme of fashion. She met Berber Soepboer who was one grade higher than her during the study in the Rietveld . Here is some pieces from her in her graduation collection during 2006.

she describes, ‘in her designs, she gets concepts out of existing clothing to which she add subtle details by using a variety of fabrics with prints and her own designs.’

After graduation, as a freelance designer, she also participated styling for a Hip Hop band The Fringe and on September, 2009, she started the concept store with Berber Soepboer. What they are doing, she said, is a bit different than the other brands, they don’t design collections for every season, every piece they designed is connected to the rest of one big collection. It’s like if from one a trunk a lot of branches grow.

Berber Soepboer, finished her bachelor programme of fashion in 2007, she declares: “I design items of clothing that are characterized through the different ways in which they can be worn. The wearer can make choices in how he or she wants to wear the garment and is thus co-designer of the garment.  In this way I want to create a greater awareness of personal identity, sustainability is a recurring theme in this.” There’s some of her works which explains her concepts very well.

‘The dresses of the collection are extremely complex, with a series of wires that allow changing the shape of the dress.’

I remember this piece which hung on the wall in the store, one is not colored was put next to another one Which was colored, with pens next to it.

 

This few pieces below are some of the recent pieces in their big collection.

When I talked with Anne, she told me this piece is inspired by the city of Gorkum and the history behind. “Inspired by Countess Jacoba van Beieren a remarkable historical person from this region. Elements from her life such as traditional dress, Dutch ship trade and waterways are reflected in the designs. Present and Past + Identity and Perception were visualized in designs in which shapes and prints of the past get a new form and function in the present. This has resulted in garments which can be worn in different ways where there is an interaction between the individual pieces by means of encounters and connections.

The designs for the two silk scarves find their origin in folds; for storing clothes in cupboards and chests, it was necessary to fold in the old days. The folds are visible on the print but the actual scarf isn’t folded, also the VOC painting is folded and then printed.”  - Berber Soepboer


 

Collaborations with the Multidisciplinary


Monday, April 9, 2012

Emmeline de Mooij’s • Mixed Media

Emmeline de Mooij (Delft, 1978), currently lives and works in New York and Amsterdam and has a very detailed collection of works. She works a lot with settings in photography and from what we see she often centers herself like an actor in her own works. From 1997 to 2002 she studied Fashion Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. If you see her work, you can see that she’s not your ordinary fashion alumni because her works are a combination of a lot of disciplines containing, but not limited to: sculptures, installations, photography, graphic design, video and performance art. I guess it’s safe to say her work is Mixed Media galore.

Where some alumni remain somewhat more linked to fashion, or at least to fashion within the ‘logical’ borders of fashion, I notice that there is an interesting thing that happens a lot during and after studying at the Rietveld. Something that I see less at other art schools seems to be more apparent there. The tendency to not-choose just one direction, but have a strong drive towards multi-disciplinary ways of creating their form of art. This is something that I not only see in the work of Emmeline de Mooij, but also in the work of other alumni like Felix & Mumford (Fashion, Installation, Graphic Design and more -),  Soepboer & Stooker (Fashion, Graphic Design and more -) and for example the way Thera Hillenaar doesn’t just make clothes for wearing, but also adds a focus on it’s interactive function.

The following images are taken from the solo exhibition ‘Strip it down baby, give me those bare necessities’ at the Steinsland/Berliner gallery in Stockholm.
What I have mentioned in the above, becomes clearly visible in these photographic images.

‘Strip it down baby, give me those bare necessities’
image © Emmeline de Mooij

image © Emmeline de Mooij

image © Emmeline de Mooij
image copyright - Emmeline de Mooij

In the above work she spent weeks in European forests with her colleague Melanie Bonajo and together they researched and visualized how the modern man compares itself to the outdoors nature.

“By wearing masks, I attempted to free myself from my ego and access a collective unconsciousness. It is a reaction to the Western urban human being, wallowing in a nostalgic concept of nature, convinced of being able to reach a certain pure natural state within the safe context of taking a course in “primal dancing” or “collaborating” with dead ancestors.”

[welikeart.nl/]

I feel that from what I am learning now at the Rietveld, it is very important to try and focus on this collective unconsciousness, or somewhat try to approach and question the way you are thinking, and the way you approach a problem that you come across on your way to making a piece of art. This and the multidisciplinary approach to her works give me the feeling of a strong connection to the Rietveld.

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Not A Complete Story…..


Monday, April 9, 2012

At the Fashion&FOAM exhibition in the Vijzelstraat, the work of Emmeline de Mooij was a real eye catcher. Not because of its colors, not because of its size, not because of its position, but because it was ‘different’. In an exhibition on fashion design, she chose not to show clothing or fashion photography, but to present a canvas with a picture of a jumping naked woman and collected sand, called ‘Gravity and Domestic Dust’. A very (strange?) personal approach to what fashion design is? How does she describe herself, and what –as an ex-Rietveld student- is her connection to the Rietveld after 10 years of graduation? As a reaction on her visual work, I chose a personal formal approach by sending her a letter full of loose questions, written on pictures of the Rietveld building and on photographs of her own work. What I got back was not a complete story, not a letter either, but a bunch of answers giving a slight insight in the relation between this versatile artist and ‘our’ Rietveld.
 

How do you describe what you do?
Emmeline de Mooij (born in Delft, The Netherlands, 1978) investigates in her installations, photo’s and performances, the human being looking for something to hold on, confronted with the sight of a dizzying big universe. Comfort and a therapeutic effect is often found in surrounding oneself with as much objects as possible.
In her work she creates artifacts and remnants of fictional societies and scenes from apocalyptic scenario’s, removing the contradictions between the everyday and the improbable. Materials such as clothing, utensils, plastic, clay and Styrofoam, she molds together into images referring to science-fiction, archeological finds and pseudo-scientific theories.
The complex, with objects surrounded modern life and the nostalgic desire for simplicity, she captures in an ironic way. Where concepts of freedom and panic are inextricably linked to each other.

You+Rietveld: Happy marriage?
Yeah, quite a happy marriage! Although I wouldn’t describe the Rietveld at that time as a top level institute. I thrived well in the general focus at the Rietveld at giving the students a lot of freedom and responsibility, but I also think that there were a lot of not really good teachers. Teaching on a bad level, not up to date with developments within the international art world, or just not dedicated enough (absent all the time, sick, burn-out etc). I had the feeling some of those teachers where teaching there since ages, having this contract, so they were save for the next 10 years, they were friendly to the director and that seemed enough to keep their job.

In what way did you(r work) change during your Rietveld studies?
I guess, due to the fact the Rietveld being quite an international community, the same counts for Amsterdam where I moved to for my studies, my horizon was broadened. And I felt I could finally fully express myself, surrounded by like minded people, quite different from the provincial town I grew up.

What is your relationship to other (ex-)Rietveld students?
I have some friends that went to the Rietveld as well, maybe 30% of my friends? But I’m not one of those that keep hanging out with only Rietveld people, there’s quite a big community in Amsterdam that is like that.

Does it matter that they are from the Rietveld as well?
See answer above.

Do you think that someone can say that your work is “typically Rietveld -based”?
To be honest, I hope not. I hope my work is not too strongly part of just one particular tradition.
Although sometimes I have the feeling, especially compared to artists with a background in American art education, people who studied at the Rietveld have quite an elaborate/intuitive way of working, which feels to me more natural. So I wouldn’t mind if people would connect me to the Rietveld in that sense.
I can’t ignore though that my work can be typical Dutch sometimes.
Especially in photography I think there is a certain approach that a lot of Dutch artists unites, “improvised” looking still lives for example, or snap shot like photo’s with strong flash light, the use of humor in the work. And many times I think Dutch art isn’t very political, again especially compared to artists with a background in American art education (for me this is a strong reference just because I recently lived/studied in the States for 1,5 years), artists here are not extremely engaged or making political statements.

Why did you go to NYC after your studies?
Because I got offered a scholarship for the Photo Global Residency Program

When did you start making these (canvas)works? Do you consider them as fashion design?
I started making them in New York in 2010. I wouldn’t consider them as fashion design.


Do you manage to draw the school-floorplan by memory?
No.

What did you learn most in school?
Working from my intuition.

Did the school change in your eyes?
Don’t know.

Would you change something?
If there are still these teachers that aren’t dedicated and not good at teaching, I would throw them out and really try to upscale the general level. There are enough great artists and theorists living in or close to Amsterdam who could teach at the Rietveld.

Did you ever think about quitting the Rietveld?
No.

When where you there for the last time?
I think 2008, for the graduation show.

Do you feel linked to the school today?
Not so much, although coincidentally two weeks ago or so I ended up at a lecture from the Italian thinker Bifo and I heard he was going to speak at the Rietveld Studium Generale the next day. So I checked the Rietveld website and some lectures looked interesting, but I had to finish some works for a show so I couldn’t go. But maybe definitely next time.

SUNSET


Monday, April 9, 2012

 

 

‘‘Today, you can expect it to be windy throughout the day, a few showers between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. After that, it’s expected to be mostly cloudy. It’ll get a little warmer in the afternoon, around 10 degrees Celsius. The overall chance of rain is 45 percent. Tomorrow, showers in the morning and high temperatures around the 9 in the south up to 12 degrees in the north-east. The rest of….’

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KevinPower


Monday, April 9, 2012

Kevin Power welcomed me in his studio, in a building that used to be a school. We sat down with a cup of coffee and I was soon to realize it was his birthday by a numerous of very nice birthday calls.

We talked about his career after he in 1999 graduated the fashion department at Rietveld, for example how difficult it can be to works as diverse as he does (paintings, collages, sculptures, illustrations, installations, costumes etc.) in a commercial context where they need a more clear style. That’s why he got two websites commercial oriented and one more diverse.

Kevin Power has worked as freelancer, made costumes and set designs for Klank Kleur Festival and from 2004-2010 he was hired by Tommy Hilfiger:” to inspire, everything from creating various interactive art projects to making props for stores and showrooms”.

The Atelier

The work space is a storage for previous works that partly will become future works. After being cannibalized to bits and pieces they are recreated and reused containing both the history of its previous function and new dimensions for the present context.

Works are gathered and hidden in corners, paintings put in an untouchable distance and space is cleared to give a fresh start and room to begin a new project, new thoughts and challenges.

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Viviane Sassen: “I just love the black skin of people”.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Viviane Sassen photographs people. But she doesn’t consider her photographs as portraits. Her models are more composition than persons. They are never photographed in close-up: it is always a total or semi total scene in which they figure. She almost uses her models as sculptures. Bodies always have a very sculptural aspect. She underlines that with very contrasted pictures. The faces of Sassen’s character’s are often no more than suggestions. They are surfaces and contours, black holes that contrast sharply with the bright, colorful surroundings. She uses a technique that could be called “the revered Clair-obscur”. While Rembrandt and Caravaggio used the light of a candle or their characters to emerge from dark decors, Sassen drapes a veil across the face. A tree, the edge of a roof, bystanders of whom only the legs are visible – they suggest eyes, mouth and nose with the echo of their presence.

Sassen makes 3 kinds of photographs: recumbent figures, lying with their head turned away from the viewer; intertwined bodies; and “Mystified portrait”: individuals who cannot be identified as such, who avert the camera’s gaze, who have a plant or a shadow of a plant where you expect a smile or a frown.

Between the age of 2 and 5 Sassen lived in a village in Kenya. It was a world of skinned goats’ head on market stalls, morning dew on the red earth, and sweet soft drinks in glass bottles and the smell of burnt charcoal. Her father worked in a hospital, and she herself played with the young patients from the polio clinic next door to their house. For a child of that age, who has not yet made the distinction between I and the other, the identification is complete.

She left Africa quite young and only came back there with a camera in 2001. During this in-between period, she flirted with the profession of fashion designer and became acquainted with photography. She sucked up the work of Araki, Nan Goldin, Thomas Ruff, Andres Serrano and Wolfgang Tillmans. Besides her autonomous work, she worked on assignment for progressive fashion labels like Miu Miu, Viktor & Rolf, Diesel, So, Adidas and Stella McCartney.

It is tempting to give an autobiographical interpretation to the images of her African’s work. But that would be too easy, opening the doors to accusations of navel-gazing and narcissism. “I’m attempting to recreate the images of my youth”, she says. But because of a lack of precisely determined locations these images have a universal charge, transcending personal ups and downs. And there’s a particular, political meaning behind them.

 

(more…)

all4114all (to niels klavers)


Thursday, March 22, 2012

 

“They seemed to fill with air, ALMOST like they were made out of paper.” Morta Griskeviciute

 

 


 

all4114all

 

 

 

121-58

Supplies the spark that

ignites the air/fuel mi

xture so that com

bustion can

occur.

The

spark

must

happen

at

just

the

right

moment

for the w

hole to work properly.

 

 

 

A hand tool consisting of a handle with a head of metal or other heavy rigid material that is attached at a right angle, used for striking or pounding.

 

 

40-62

 

 

Regulates, directs and

controls the flow of a

fluid by opening, closi

ng, or partially obstru

cting various passage

ways. The intake and

exhaust open at the pr

oper time to let in air

and fuel and to let out

exhaust. Both are clo

sed during compress

ion and combustion

so it is sealed.

 

 

 

A small open container, usually with a flat bottom and a handle, used for drinking.

 

 

33-93

 

 

Pushed by the

pressure of the

expanding

combustion

gases,

its

motion

converts

into

round

motion

within

4390

for the

purposes

of the

whole.

 

 

 

A thin toothed strip, as of plastic, used to smooth, arrange, or fasten the hair.

 

43-90

 

 

The space in which 33

-93 travels. Arranged

accordingly in a bank

typically cast from alu

minum or cast iron be

fore receiving precision

work. It may be sleeved

or sleeveless.

 

 

 

A printed or written literary work.

 

Conversation with niels –

Quality over Quantity?


Monday, February 27, 2012

In the fashion industry the topic of sustainability and eco-friendliness has not been on the top of the priority list one might say. Trends change every season, and to stay in style you are expected to renew your wardrobe at least twice per year. High-end designers are now launching even more than two collections a year, you have the so-called pre-fall and resort collections as well as the biannual summer and winter. Chain stores are introducing new collections as often as every six weeks. At the same time as this is happening, fashion is getting cheaper and cheaper.  The high-street brands keep pushing prices lower by producing their clothes in countries that are known for using child labor and having extremely poor working conditions. The materials used are usually of very bad quality, which is probably also produced in an unethical way. So with facts like these you don’t have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to see that this is not a very sustainable approach

(more…)

UOMINI


Friday, January 20, 2012

Manual: How to dress YOUR man?


The number one fashion book!

After the success of many magazine publications for “Dolce and Gabbana” the author Mario Vivanco was invited to write a new guide continuing on his previous works. The “UOMINI” is Italian word for a manly, plural. The book “UOMINI” has became a guide for the men fashion from the beginning to the end. It’s a manual showing the way from the childhood to the grown age. It’s like a road going through the jungle, makes you going further and further, climbing through the forest of the fashion, finding the way not to get lost in this dangerous and wild world of models, TV- shows and coming stars.
The “UOMINI” can become your manual to be yourself. Step by step you will find the answers and finally the answer on only one and very important question: how to dress your man?
If you were wondering what boxers can compromise your wish to see the sexy bottom of your boyfriend and his love for comfortable going to the knees shorts? If you don’t want to be shy when you invite your men to meet your friends? Or nice family evening to introduce him to your parents?

This book is for YOU!!!!


How to choose the right outfit for every situation in your life?!
Witch colour of the tie will match the suit?
And even the right style of the socks!

All these answers you can find inside!!!


Don’t wait till someone will take the place of your man at work. Just because his boss thinks that someone is more representable! Or your friend will show of her new boyfriend just because he is more fashionable!

Open this book today and tomorrow you will have the world next to your man’s feet!!!!
And he will give this world to YOU!!!!

 

this post is part of he subjective library project "Unopened Book"
the book can be found at the Rietveld library : catalog no : 908.2-dol-1

Trash of the Titans


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

As children we were told fairy tales when adults wanted us to stop crying. Stories of kidnapping, the black death and drug use sometimes disguised in jolly rhymes, melodies and childish fantasies. They have taught us not to look in the room meant to be kept shut, in other words; be obedient otherwise face terrible/fantastical consequences.

Not always, this kind tales –sometimes happy– about far away lands, keep us amused in a world so “understood” and “real”.
Walter van Beirendonck uses this element in many of his clothing articles. Connecting both worlds of childish imagination and colors with the really real world of grown-ups.

And it can really get

real.

 

It looks like van Beirendonck is busy writing his own fairy tales with every show. Each representing a different space and feeling.
He has even created a character to better express himself with.

 A quote;

MISSION OF MONTH: AS THE SNAPPIEST DORKIAN KNOWN, CHOSEN ALIEN OF THE W.& L.T.HOOD AND EARTHLING-MAGNET – PUK PUK’S MISSION IS TO TRANSEND THE W.& L.T. AUTUMN VIBES TO THE EARTH ALIENS.

 KWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWKWK

HI HI HI FASHION-FRIENDS. PUK PUK WANTS TO TAKE YOU FOR A RIDE ON THE BIG WHEEL THIS MONTH AND FROM THE TOP TAKE A SNEAKY LOOK AT WHAT W.& L.T. HQ IS PUTTING IN ALL L(OVE)-RATED STORES FOR THE CHILLY MONTHS COMING. IT IS A CANDY-CUCKOO RANGE THAT WILL SING OUT TO ALL W.& L.T. FANS AND WAKE-UP ALL THOSE NON-W’S TO SEE WHAT A SEXY FUN TIME THEY CAN HAVE BEING A W.& L.T.ING.

 ALTHOUGH I AM SMOOTH, BLUE AND HAIRFREE, WAY BACK WE DORKIANS WERE HAIRY ALL OVER. TODAY I FEEL LIKE TEDDY-VELVET AND IN ORDER THAT ALL FANS OF W.& L.T. CAN EXPERIENCE THE PLEASURE OF THE TOUCH OF PUK PUK THEY HAVE RELEASED SOME VERY SPECIAL SWEAT-TOPS IN TEDDY MATERIAL. SOME COME IN A HARLEQUIN CHEQUE AND SOME COME WITH OLYMPIC MEDALS AND ALL ARE PURRY SOFT!

 W.& L.T. THEN ENTERS THE FREAK-SHOW TENT FULL OF MAGICAL PEOPLE WHOSE CRAZY EXISTENCE IS NOT LIKE MANY OTHERS ON EARTH. INSPIRATION COMES FLOODING FROM THE HAIRY PEOPLE AND CELEBRATED WITH T-SHIRTS AND DENIM WITH A HAIRY PRINT ALL OVER. THE LOOK IS WILD, TRASHY AND LETHAL AND SURE TO GET THOSE HUMAN APE-GENES OH OH OHING. THOSE NICE PEOPLE EVEN PROVIDE RAZORS SO YOU CAN GET CREATIVE AND GO ELVIS.

 AND THEN BACK ON THE BIG WHEEL AGAIN, SPINNING INTO AUTUMN WINTER, IS THE TASTE OF SAUSAGES AND BIG RED LOLLIPOPS FROM THE FAIRGROUND. W.& L.T. RE-CREATES THE PLEASURE GARDEN WITH LOLLIPOP T-SHIRTS (LICK ME!) AND HOUSE OF HORRORS BAGS AND TOPS WITH ILLUMINOUS IMAGES OF SKULLS. HOLD ON TIGHT THE RIDE IS JUST BEGINNING!

 PUK PUK MUST GO NOW BUT PROMISES TO BRING YOU MORE NEWS FROM W.& L.T. NEXT MONTH. REMEMBER IF YOU SEE ME FLYING ABOVE YOU IN MY STELLAR CADILLAC REMEMBER TO GIVE ME THE HORN!

 KKKWWW PUK PUK

 * NOT LITERALLY – EARTHLINGS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PERFORM THIS TRANSITION UNTIL THE YEAR 2497 AND THE GOLDFISH POPULATION WILL BE THE FIRST TO WORK OUT HOW

That’s an actual quote from Walter’s website; http://www.walt.de.
The Character is Puk Puk, who comes from planet Dork. Tells it how it is and is inspired by the people of Papua New Guinea.
They even kinda look like Puk Puk if you squint your eyes a bit.

What I also like about van Beirendonck besides his difficult name, is that he seems to live in his own world. As do many of us. Actually, we all live in our own little imagination, it’s only our relation to others that makes it seem and feel so shared. Perception in our civilized society is very important.

If you were at a party with 30 people, chances are 7 might be schizophrenic. Today we don’t get burned at the stake or get shock treatments and lobotomies
(our memories of them nothing more than Ramones lyrics and Jeffrey Dahmer victims). You do however get shunned from being “normal”.
Bah, who the fuck wants to be normal anyway?
Furthermore who’s to say what normal is?
(If we’re talking about mathematical norms, then sure a norm is the recurring number, but the idea that this recurring number is the best,
what’s that about?)
Some cultures modify their bodies as a form of beauty, while other cultures frighten themselves with stories of malformed humans who are either savages or uncivilized.

O brave new world that has such people in it.

 

I am a storyteller and it is my way of thinking and presenting in a total way.”

(more…)

SOLID Style


Monday, November 14, 2011

– Look at me, don’t look at me.

This was a description given by Patti Smith, when being asked about her style in an interview. The sentence caught my attention because of its simple descriptiveness of the rebel attitude. But this text is not about the musician and poet Patti Smith, but about the clothes she often wears. Made by her close and old friend Ann Demeulemeester, whose work I’ve tried to approached.

Ann Demeulemeester and Patty Smith. Two successful stories, still going on.
It seams they function like each others muses and fuel each other with creative energy. They have collaborated in some of Ann’s collections. She seems like the perfect model for Demeulemeesters design. She expresses individuality and androgynity and that is two important themes in Demeulemeesters work.


Ann Demeulemeester
B.1951 in Belgium
Lives in Antwerp (in Belgium’s only le Corbusier house [x])
Attended the Royal academy of fine arts, Belgium 1978-1981
One member of the notable fashion group “The Antwerp 6″ [x]
Set up her fashion house in -87.
In 2009 her business generated sales of about 40 million dollars.
Only wears her own design.

Consistency

Long term friendship, long stabile career and a loyal crowd who follows her.
Going through the history of her collections, from 1987-2011, You see that she has a single solid vision. Her outspoken critical approach to trends, hype and celebrity dressing is probably a reason to her popularity. She explains the success to old-fashioned hard work. Inspired by her father.

The Crow, Edward Scissorhands, leather, latex, horse hair and feathers…
My First impression was from the collection of 2011.

I wouldn’t wear it.

Fashion for older women. Women Interested in art, who use to be punks in the 80′s. All black… Lacing, high booths, leather gloves, fetish, goth, pale, thin models.
In interviews she says she hates to be labelled as gothic.
I like dark, but more sober. I could do without the leather laces…

Atmosphere

Former industries, now galleries-area in Berlin.
I walked through a open door. Surprised to find a clothing store there [x], and even more surprised that they represented Ann Demeulemeester.
They didn’t greet me, three busy quiet guys dressed in black. everything was black. I was a non-potential buyer, and felt a bit uncomfortable spending too much time in there. I wanted to take a picture but wasn’t allowed. Couldn’t understand why, didn’t ask why. The place felt like a secret club rather then a public place.

Second store visit in Amsterdam, at Van Ravenstein [x]. (This time with my own photographer). White clean facade. classy, neat store. A bit nervous to feel like the non-potential-buyer again. The store was not very big but had three assistants; one young and two elderly women. I look around I order to recognize something from Demeulemeester, but it seems that this store was selling a more “simple” selection out of the collection. One of the assistants showed me, and I picked out some things that felt the most characteristic.
Another costumer was giving me a quick but evaluating look, from head to toes.
With carefulness I tried on a black shirt with white birds claws-print, and a thin, black cardigan with an unusual cutting. I read the clothes with my pre-impressions of a mood composed by websites, music, models, etc. but anyhow, I got cheesy heavy metal associations from the shirt… The cardigan was OK. Comfortable, and I like that it had a hood. It was hanging down in a nice way. I felt some eyes in my neck and one of the assistants asked me if it’s a good size. I gave the answer, yes yes it’s good, even though it was a bit too small.

I asked the assistant if she could describe the design from Demeulemeester. She was thinking for a while, and the answered with a very low and soft voice: androgynous… rocky… simple… women. She couldn’t say who the customers were. Demeulemeester herself says her clients is not fashion victims, but individualists that chooses what he or she wants.

…austerity…dark…cold…wind…serious…quietness…concentration…horses…

Actions/Reaction; Questions/ReAnswer


Monday, November 14, 2011

First of all, I already studied fashion design during a year. I know it’s not long period, but I have my own preference about fashion design which is simple. But As you know, Walter Van Beirendonck’s work is not simple is more like an overstatement to me. Honestly, When I first looked around his exhibition in ‘MOMU’, It did not really impress me. Just another ‘Fashion’ show room. Moreover, I really felt a headache. There were various colored clothes, even it’s figure. But after exhibition I realized it’s not the same compared to any other showing room. That is more detailed. This means it’s not just for ‘Looking-Good’, but also his philosophy. It is a completely unique perception of beauty to me. It is not only shape, His view-point and spectacular fashion, socially critical themes touched his designs. (HIV, Alien, Exteriority, Exotic Culture, mass consumerism, Warfare of World, et c.)

 He combines this with his fascination for technology, high-tech materials, multimedia and experimentation with sharp, critical statements. He usually tests the limits of beauty, giving his own interpretation of concepts that society imposes on us. And how he works today’s important themes into his collections and presentations.

Actions/Reactions sector in 'MOMU'

In his collections, I researched about ‘Actions / Reactions’.

He incorporates themes such as AIDS, the burqa (Muslims female cloth) debate, mass consumption, ecology and capitalism. He likes to compare the way he does this with the richly imaginative way that people in West Africa deal with tragic events, such as death, by burying their dead in coffins sculpted in the shape of an automobile, and onion or other fantastic forms. Actually even I had no knowledge about this.

This collection has focus on controversial issues and social statements. I think that is very important because of fashion; clothes is a good way to implement and give a message. Through a very basic behavior, wearing clothes. So, I think, Fashion has to be more mass influenced. Like a symbol. In this regard, I found that he tried to communicate face to face. In my view it is like a demonstration without sound.

Mr.Greedy

I think he is the most socially engaging in the collection Stop Terrorizing Our World. (S.T.O.W.) In my view, As can be seen in the picture, they represent the protagonist, who are important in our contemporary world. The Exterminator, for example, with all the diseases around the world, such as AIDS, overpopulation, fevers, and so on. Mr. Greedy stood for America and the fast food industry. However horrible or difficult the issue, his message is always a fundamentally positive one, with a powerful belief in progress and change.

After being inpired by him,
I destroyed and reconstructed clothes.

5 years ago, I read Che’s biography. I still remember his words; “Soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible!” – Be realistic, demand the impossible!

 I know, Walter didn’t demand to solve an impossible problem. Its a hard one to solve, even if everybody knows these problems. In my view, Walter will be more affective than che ever was. Even if he were still alive! I will really expect his forward move. He is a mastermind to me.

He was inspired by 'Heidi' animation.

Additional, I found some reference example that interested me.

In ‘KILLER / ASTRAL?TRAVEL / 4D-Hi-D’ printed with a picture of Heidi and a goat with green ‘devil’s eyes’ and the slogan ‘Fatal attraction’ in flock print (referring to HIV) leather dogs collar, shorts (‘feed up’) in imitation leather socks printed with dolls motifs, leather shoes, nylon masks with the inscription Terror Time.

American president Ronald Reagan with Confetti

In ‘STOP TERRORIZING OUR WORLD’ suit in cotton with embroidered slogans in Japanese and Arabic letters (referring to the ecological problems at the north and south poles and in the amazon), loose hood trimmed with imitation fur, shirt in cotton embroidered with slogans, leather shoes. kind of like the environment movement. And “Mr. Greedy bomber” jacket in wool with embroidered motifs such as American president Ronald Reagan in a clown costume on a rocket, woolen trousers with ‘stars & stripes’ motif, loose hood edged with imitation fur and embroidered Ronald McDonald figure and dollar signs, knitted jumper in wool, T-shirt in man-made fiber, make-up; confetti.

'A Clockwork Orange' by Stanley Kubrick

I want to call it “Questions / Answers” Also his work will be an answer about nowadays’ topics. I think he expects, after I saw/wore his artwork, to change our thought and behavior. It is like a silent revolution.

 

Finally, during investigations I found an inspiringAnOtherarticle about him.

some more interesting articles/links are:

Expo Walter van Beirendock@MoMu on Belmodo.tv
Mode Museum's "Dream the World Awake" on MoMu.be
Flanders Fashion Institute blog

Walter van Beirendonck's own Vimeo channel
and the MoMu exhibition booklet

Vivienne Westwood / The end of the world.


Monday, November 14, 2011

In my research project I went looking for something that really struck me while analyzing Vivienne Westwood’s latest collections and labels. She started her collections living in a punk era filled ideals, fighting against the mainstream society, this was very obvious in her early work. Though, looking at her collections from this era I see a soft version of the work she used to make, seen in the style, color and fabric she used. In my opinion punk now has a small role in the influence of making her later collections. I feel that the edge is off and that it has smoothed out over time. I still think her work is really fantastic, but that is not what matters right now. I know she still follows several ideals like using Eco-materials with print on t-shirts that refer to how people treat nature.

 

But why did she change her image and became softer as she was. An image changes over the years, but is this a new way of rebellion by expressing herself in a softer way? Why doesn’t it come across as a rebellion to me, can we make a statement in a fancy wardrobe? After studying her collections I thought to myself that I might have became a custom to the fashion of today and versatility of showing itself.

After doing some research I came upon a project called the Worlds End Shop:
The World’s End Collection is a range put together personally by Vivienne Westwood in which she has selected her favorite pieces from the archive as an antidote to the transient nature of trends. There are styles worthy of repeating over and over again and through the World’s End Collection Vivienne is able to offer her loyal and new fans alike pieces which are her favorites and which they can purchase even after the season is over.
Created with wastefulness in mind, the collection makes use of leftover fabrics and off cuts from previous seasons to minimize the squandering of the earth’s resources. As such, quantities are produced based on what length of fabric is left. Garments are therefore produced in limited runs and some are unique. Fabrics combined in one garment are carefully chosen by Vivienne to complement each other and are used until they run out. This makes each piece a limited edition.
After I had read the concept of the Worlds Ends Collection I saw that we not always need to rebel in a way as was done in the punk-era. We can change our approach to maybe attrackt a bigger audience. By using smaller details while still getting the message across.
WORLD\’S END SHOP


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